Give Me Jesus


It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands (Psalms 92:1-4).

Give Me Jesus is a fairly old hymn, originating as an African-American spiritual written during the time of slavery in the Untied States. Yet I first heard the song just a couple of years ago hearing Fernando Ortega sing it on Moody radio. I fell in love with it immediately. The lyrics of Give Me Jesus are simple, but oh how poignant. The message should be our heart’s desire yet I venture to say not so for most modern Christians. Whether we be in tragedy or triumph, whether we are weathering storms or counting treasures do You want Jesus more than all? Is it easier to want Jesus in despair or when we are haughty? I suppose the thought that Give Me Jesus was written by people stripped of all dignity and every human possession says so much about what Jesus is, what He can give and His very nature!

In the morning Christians should seek Christ first, to thank him for His mercies of yesterday, for his blessings to be bestowed today and to ask for grace for the day. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee (Ps 143:8). But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble (Ps 59:16).

During the day we should seek a quiet place to thank Him again, plead for his sustaining mercies and to worship our Savior. Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant (Ps 119:76). Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Phil 4:6). Jesus gave us examples of secluding Himself in a quiet place to call on the Father. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray (Mark 6:46). And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed (Luke 5:16). Jesus actually instructed us to do this in Matthew 6:6: But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Perhaps He wants us to seek the Father in private, not only that we can worship Him, but that we might be prepared to love Him in our loneliness. Christ set the perfect example here as well, one that we could never relive, when He bore our sins on the cross. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done (Matthew 26:42). When you are alone, He is there.

We should seek Christ throughout life and want Him as we die. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing (2 Tim 4:6-8). This will be the time for Christians when we truly understand that all the world offers is nothing and that a life in Christ is everything. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death (Phil 3:7-10).

Friend, may I ask you if you are a Christian? Have you personally asked Jesus Christ to save you? When it’s time to die, will you have the world or will you have Christ? For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (Mark 8:36)?

The modern lyrics of Give Me Jesus differ somewhat in order from the Spiritual lyrics; the modern lyrics follow.

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus

Chorus: Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Give me Jesus.

When I am alone,
When I am alone,
When I am alone,
Give me Jesus.

When I come to die,
When I come to die,
When I come to die,
Give me Jesus.

Final chorus: Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
Give me Jesus.

I hope you enjoy my friend Dwayna Litz singing Give Me Jesus.

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5 Responses to Give Me Jesus

  1. Thomas Alva Lowe says:

    Been reading your posts for some time now….and always thoroughly enjoy them. Then it struck me…could this be the same Mike Mahathy I knew in the ’70’s living in the Tyner area?

    Are you the very same Mike?

    Now matter if you are or not…keep up the wonderful writing.

    Tom Lowe

  2. My favorite hymn and cry of my heart!

  3. I wanted to “Like” your piece but the process, for me, was too complicated. Glad I could say so here. Thank you for what you have written and God bless you!

  4. Pingback: Writing Down Life's Blog

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